Beginning October 1, 2017, the new Fair Credit in Employment Amendment Act of 2016 amends the DC Human Rights Act to include "Credit Information" as the law's 20th protected trait. The amendment prohibits employers, employment agencies, and labor organizations in the District of Columbia may not discriminate against an employee or an applicant based on their credit information. This means that employers, unless excluded by the law (see below), may not ask for, or rely on, credit information of a current or potential employee in making employment decisions.
What does "credit information" mean?
The law defines “credit information” as “any written, oral, or other communication of information bearing on an employee’s credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, or credit history.”
What are the specific requirements of the law?
Employers must consider a person’s employment application without asking about the applicant’s credit information or requiring the applicant to submit their credit information. This means that employers may not directly or indirectly require, request, suggest, ask, use, accept, refer to, or inquire into an applicant’s credit information. Thus, if the employer receives an applicant’s credit information without asking, the employer may not rely on such information in making the employment decision.
Employers may not ask, obtain, or rely on a person’s credit information in making any employment decisions.
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DC Office of Human Rights
441 4th Street NW, Suite 570N
Washington, DC 20001
FAQ: English (PDF)